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Sweeney in 2008
|Full name||Antony Thomas Sweeney|
|Date of birth||5 September 1983|
|Place of birth||Stockton-on-Tees, England|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Playing position||Central Midfielder|
|Hartlepool United (coach)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Antony Sweeney was born in Stockton-on-Tees and grew up as a Liverpool fan and his favourite player was Robbie Fowler. After developing into a good footballer, he joined Hartlepool's Youth Development programme, the same programme that developed players such as Adam Boyd and Jim Provett into first team regulars. He established himself as a hot prospect whilst in the youth team and was offered a permanent contract under Chris Turner to stop him going elsewhere.
In the 2001–02 season, Sweeney made his debut in the 3–0 win over York City after coming on as a substitute. On the first day of the following season, Sweeney made his first Hartlepool start in the 3–1 win over Carlisle United. However, despite his potential Sweeney found it difficult to establish himself as permanent fixture in the team and spent the majority of the following two seasons in the reserves.
However towards the end of the 2003–04 season, Sweeney was given a chance to cement his place in the first team due to injuries. Soon after, Sweeney quickly scored his first goal against former manager Mike Newell's Luton Town. Sweeney's second goal for the club gained him even more recognition as it was in front of Sky TV cameras in the second leg of the play-off semi-final against Bristol City.
Sweeney's next season would prove to be even more action-packed as he played in 44 of Hartlepool's 46 league matches. He received his first red card against Milton Keynes Dons after a tussle with Izale McLeod but he more than made up for it when he scored his first hattrick against Chesterfield in his next appearance. Sweeney's deceiving runs from midfield enabled him to get in behind opposition defences and this helped him to notch up 12 goals for the season, making him Hartlepool's highest scoring midfield player. This made him one of the front-runners for both Hartlepool's Fans' and Players' Player of the Year, but he missed out to Joel Porter and Adam Boyd respectively.
Sweeney demonstrated his versatility by spending much of the 2009–10 season playing in an unfamiliar right-back role. In both the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons he prospered in his regular position of central midfield, top scoring in both campaigns with nine and eight goals respectively. At the end of the 2011–2012 season Sweeney had played for Hartlepool 384 times, making him sixth in Hartlepool United's all-time appearance list.
- "Hartlepool Appearances". The Mad Crowd. Archived from the original on 1 September 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- "Antony Sweeney and Danny Grainger join Carlisle United". BBC Sport. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- "Antony Sweeney: Gateshead sign ex-Carlisle United midfielder". BBC Sport. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
- "Sweeney Makes Pools Return". Gateshead FC. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.